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Massive Jamaican music archives missing

Published 06/01/2008

A massive collection of 1970s music including original recordings by reggae greats Bob Marley and Peter Tosh has disappeared from the archives of the former Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation.

The possible theft of thousands of vinyl records and compact discs is a blow to the island's history, said Olivia Grange, Jamaica's information minister.

Musicians and former JBC employees criticised the government for not properly maintaining the archives.

``The latest development is a national disgrace,'' said Gladstone Wilson, former programme manager for JBC radio.

Workers at the newly formed Public Broadcasting Corp of Jamaica noticed the disappearances earlier this week while touring the old JBC building in Kingston.

They had planned to use the archived material for their first programmes, Ms Grange said.

The archives also contain famous videos including the 1977 visit of Fidel Castro and the 1978 One Love Peace Concert, in which Marley famously called two bitter Jamaican political rivals onstage to join hands.

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